Gansu celebrated its provincial day in the China Pavilion at the Astana Expo on Aug 16.
Officials attending and addressing the opening ceremony of the event included Wang Jinzhen, vice-chairman of the China Council for the Promotion of International Trade (CCPIT), Huang Qiang, executive vice governor of Gansu province, Liu Jiangping, charge d'affaires of the Chinese mission to Kazakhstan, Mirzagaliyev Magzum Maratovich, vice-minister of Energy of the Republic of Kazakhstan, Ruslan Sakeyev, deputy governor of Mangystau region, Talgat Doskenov, vice-chairman of the National Chamber of Entrepreneurs of the Republic of Kazakhstan (NCE), and Aidyn Bayedilov, general director of the Kazakhstan Investment Cooperation Agency.
More than 130 people, including leading officials from Kazakhstan's Ministry of Defense, Petroleum Research Institute, University of Agriculture and Kazakhstan Chamber of Commerce, representatives from the Organizing Committee of the Astana Expo, Pavilion representatives from other countries and representatives from Kazakhstan enterprises, the delegation from Gansu, and media representatives from China and other countries, took part in the event.
Wang Jinzhen emphasized on the close relationship between China and Kazakhstan, and this year special because it marks the 25th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations between China and Kazakhstan and also the China Tourism Year in Kazakhstan. The leaders of China and Kazakhstan attach great importance to China's participation in the expo. Both President Xi Jinping and his Kazakh counterpart Nursultan Nazarbayev visited the China Pavilion, which greatly promoted the cooperation between the two nations in the aspect of trade, culture and tourism.
To date, the China Pavilion has held 18 provincial and municipal events and five corporate activities, which plays a significant role in promoting and expanding the two countries' cooperation on tourism, culture, agriculture and other fields, and contribute to the development of strategic partnership between the two sides.
Gansu is closely connected with Central Asia and West Asia. As one of Chinese civilization's birthplace, it possesses huge cultural and resource advantages, which greatly contributes to the construction of Silk Road Economic Belt. With prominent advantages in technology, new energy and other fields, Gansu is expected to expand cooperation with Kazakhstan and other countries to achieve mutual development.
"On the world map, Gansu is portrayed like a crystal, which in Chinese symbolizes good luck." Huang Qiang said.
Since President Xi proposed the Belt and Road Initiative, Gansu, as the choke point on the ancient Silk Road, has gained a lot of development opportunities. The Baoji-Lanzhou line has been opened for service, and the Lanzhou-Chongqing railway is currently getting underway. Gansu is developing into a region with integrated transportation network that connects the Belt and Road and the Yangtze River Economic Zone. Through the utilization of a large logistics hub, Gansu will be built into an international logistics center which connecting Central Asia and Southeast Asia. The province has a relatively complete industrial system, since it is China's petrochemical, nonferrous metallurgy, and new energy base. Huang also expressed that he hopes Gansu will further strengthen their cooperation with Central Asia and other countries involved in the Belt and Road Initiative, and aim towards achieving mutual benefits.
"In the history of the development and prosperity of the ancient Silk Road, Gansu province has occupied a vital strategic position. More than 2000 years ago, large numbers of merchants, renowned Dunhuang arts, and countless historic and cultural relics demonstrated the magnificence of human civilization," Liu Jiangping said.
She pointed out that Gansu's new energy development is outstanding. Apart from it having the top position in wind energy and the total installed capacity of solar energy, it has a three-dimensional infrastructure, developed transportation network, and advanced agriculture, according to Liu. In 2004, Gansu established friendly provincial relations with Kazakhstan's Kostanay. The two nations have bright prospects in tourism cooperation, said Liu, adding that she hopes there will be brighter future of cooperation between Gansu and Kazakhstan.
Maratovich thanked CCPIT for organizing the event and welcomed the delegation from Gansu to visit Kazakhstan. He said that Kazakhstan responded positively to the Belt and Road Initiative. With the support of President Nazarbayev and President Xi, the two countries have carried out numerous projects. He hopes that the event will help promote and strengthen the development of relationship between Kazakhstan and China, and believes that there will be further cooperation in agriculture, new energy and other areas between Kazakhstan and Gansu.
Ruslan said that Mangystau attaches great importance to the development of economy, agriculture and tourism. In the case of petroleum, Mangystau has carried out effective cooperation with a series of large enterprises from China. Ruslan hopes that the two nations can explore further cooperation and Mangystau sincerely welcomes the delegation from Gansu.
Talgat Doskenov thanked CCPIT for its contribution to the Sino-Kazakhstan economic and trade cooperation. He said that the past projects have broken new grounds for the development of bilateral economic and trade relations between China and Kazakhstan. As Columbus discovered the new continent, we found that China's capital cities, including Gansu, have their own unique history and culture. He said that he hopes that Kazakhstan will further strengthen their cooperation with Gansu.
Aydin said that the ancient Silk Road promoted the connection between Kazakhstan and Gansu. Many regions of Kazakhstan expressed their willingness to cooperate with Gansu, looking forward to reaching a series of cooperation agreements to promote further development of bilateral relations.
At the opening ceremony, artistic performances including the Dunhuang-themed dance, operas and dramas took stage. The fantastic performances showcased the unique charm of Gansu's culture.
This also marks the first time Gansu has taken part in an expo overseas. To promote the enterprises achieving more trade and investment opportunities, the China Pavilion also held the business forum on August 15, and 12 representatives of Gansu enterprises took part in the forum and had enthusiastic exchanges.
Yao Rui, executive director of China Pavilion, attended the opening ceremony.